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No. 1 automaker posts huge loss - says it has made case to Washington for rescue.


By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: November 7, 2008: 12:49 PM ET

AMERICA'S MONEY CRISIS
GM: Almost out of cash
Stocks surge despite jobs, GM
T stands for TARP...and Trouble
Jobs lost in 2008: 1.2 million
States face unemployment cash crisis
Ford posts $2.7B loss

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors shook an already embattled auto industry Friday as it reported a huge quarterly loss that was much worse than expected and warned it is in danger of running out of cash in the coming months.

GM, the nation's largest automaker, reported it lost $4.2 billion, or $7.35 a share, excluding special items. That's up from the loss $1.6 billion or $2.86 a share it reported a year earlier and was far worse than the forecast of analysts surveyed by earnings tracker Thomson Reuters, which had forecast a loss of $3.70 a share.

But the most shocking news came in its statements about its cash position. GM said it had burned through $6.9 billion during the quarter and warned that it "will approach the minimum amount necessary to operate its business" during the current quarter.

In addition, the company said that in the first half of next year its "estimated liquidity will fall significantly short" of what it needs to continue operating. It said the only thing that would save it would be a significant improvement in economic and automotive industry conditions, help from the federal government, better access to capital markets or some combination of those options.

The report was by far the most grim assessment by a company that has insisted it is not considering filing for bankruptcy court protection. While the release did not mention the threat of bankruptcy, the outlook appeared to raise the possibility of such a dramatic step.

Dave Cole, chairman of Michigan think-tank the Center for Automotive Research, said the chances that GM would be forced to file for bankruptcy were high unless Congress takes almost immediate action to bail out the industry.

"This is not something that can go on and be dealt with in the next year, it needs to be dealt with in the next few weeks," said Cole. "When your cash is gone, you're gone."

One possible scenario reported recently involved a corporate tie-up between GM and Chrysler. GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, without mentioning Chrysler by name, said on a conference call that GM had ended talks about a possible merger with a Detroit rival to concentrate on the cash crisis it now faces.

GM announced a series of steps Friday designed to help it improve its cash reserves by $5 billion. Those steps included cutting another 10% of salaried employment costs, on top of the 20% cut in those costs already planned. In addition to expected staffing reductions, those white collar workers will not get their typical incentive pay next year.

GM will also cut capital spending plans by $2.4 billion in 2009, pushing back development plans for some new models. But it warned that even those steps would not be enough unless conditions improve. It did not announce any plans for additional plant closings or hourly staff cuts in its statement, however.

The company is clearly pinning much of its hopes of weathering the current downturn on the Congress approving some kind of bailout for the industry.

"The company has engaged in discussions with various U.S. federal government agencies and congressional leaders about the ... the need for immediate government funding support given the economic and credit crisis and its impact on the industry, including consumers, dealers, suppliers and manufacturers," according to a company announcement.

Wagoner joined the chief executives of Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500), privately-held Chrysler LLC, as well as the president of the United Auto Workers union Thursday afternoon in meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to seek support for a wide-ranging bailout package. Both congressional leaders voiced support for additional help for the sector following their meetings.

Among the topics discussed were a $25 billion loan to fund union-controlled trust funds that would be set up in the coming year to cover the health care costs of retirees and their family members. Shifting about $100 billion of those costs from the automakers' balance sheet to the trust funds was a key concession the companies won from the UAW in the 2007 labor deals.

The discussions also touched on whether the government would allow the automakers to tap the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street firms and banks that was enacted last month. Treasury has so far rejected auto industry inquiries about accessing that pool of money.

The automakers also renewed their pre-election request to double the $25 billion low-interest loan program approved by Congress to help automakers convert operations to make more fuel-efficient vehicles and meet the demands of car buyers and new federal rules.

Shares of GM (GM, Fortune 500), whose trading was halted ahead of the announcement, fell 16% after they resumed.

The company's problems have been building for many years. It has not made money on its core North American auto operations since 2004, and since that time it has run up $72 billion in net losses, including this latest period.

The company did see a one-time $1.7 billion gain from a change in accounting for its obligation to pay for health care for retirees and their family. That allowed it to post a net loss of $2.5 billion, or $4.45 a share, an improvement from the net loss of $42.5 billion, or $75.12 a share a year ago when it was hit by huge special charges.

Much of the net losses in recent years have been due to non-cash charges, such as the ones a year ago. But even excluding those kinds of special charges, GM's core auto operations in North America have lost nearly $18 billion over the course of the last 15 quarters.

GM's announcement came on the same day that Ford Motor reported a $3 billion loss in the period, excluding special items. Even Japanese rival Toyota Motor (TM), which has a much better cash position coming into this crisis, announced Thursday that its third quarter earnings had plunged nearly 70%, as it slashed its full fiscal-year outlook by 50%
 

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GM is **** near done.....................PERIOD. You are gonna see some serious bargins on their vehicles early next year.............if not sooner.
 

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You guys make it sound like GM is the only auto company that's hurting...EVERYONE is hurting. Ford shares are down to $1.93. No one is selling cars right now.

But hey, at least gas prices are going down.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just give it time I am not saying " a single vehicle " can pull a company out of a hole but it can sure help out.
Ford's truck in the past has done wonders when selling.

I'm a GM guy trucks and cars !!!! Across the unitedstates out of 49 of the 50 states Gm rules in sales...... when it comes to trucks somehow Ford tops 49 states and out sells GM in trucks by 1 state Texas....That makes them the best selling truck.



Every State is going to want a Camaro....We have a dealership around here that got 67 allogations and another 30 minutes further than has 37 both are dealing them out faster than your head can snap and more than likely these people will come though because this area always has the newest sports car on the road. If mustang puts a SRA back in there stang then it will be cheaper than the Camaro but from hearing a lot of Ford people they want to move on and they like the new looks of the Camaro..... they want an IRS they are tired of the dinosaur that we automakers have supported for so long.

Chevy will sell its camaro's and Ford will sell its Mustangs american automakers will continue to cut down on vehicles we dont need and bring more economy gas wise vehicles over from Europe.

Point blank every 20 years this happens and now its time to pick ourselves back up and move into the future.

Quit screaming the sky is falling because right now the only thing falling is Gas prices. You the people can make a difference ...... We are America and we have overcome Sept 11 and a many of other things lets take this one thing just as we have the others and move forward ! :patriot:

as powerfreak once said and my sig reads Support the economy buy a Camaro :patriot:
 

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Just give it time I am not saying " a single vehicle " can pull a company out of a hole but it can sure help out.
Ford's truck in the past has done wonders when selling.

I'm a GM guy trucks and cars !!!! Across the unitedstates out of 49 of the 50 states Gm rules in sales...... when it comes to trucks somehow Ford tops 49 states and out sells GM in trucks by 1 state Texas....That makes them the best selling truck.



Every State is going to want a Camaro....We have a dealership around here that got 67 allogations and another 30 minutes further than has 37 both are dealing them out faster than your head can snap and more than likely these people will come though because this area always has the newest sports car on the road. If mustang puts a SRA back in there stang then it will be cheaper than the Camaro but from hearing a lot of Ford people they want to move on and they like the new looks of the Camaro..... they want an IRS they are tired of the dinosaur that we automakers have supported for so long.

Chevy will sell its camaro's and Ford will sell its Mustangs american automakers will continue to cut down on vehicles we dont need and bring more economy gas wise vehicles over from Europe.

Point blank every 20 years this happens and now its time to pick ourselves back up and move into the future.

Quit screaming the sky is falling because right now the only thing falling is Gas prices. You the people can make a difference ...... We are America and we have overcome Sept 11 and a many of other things lets take this one thing just as we have the others and move forward ! :patriot:

as powerfreak once said and my sig reads Support the economy buy a Camaro :patriot:
I'm very sorry, but if Nissan shaves 200 pounds off the new 370Z's curb weight when compared to the 350Z, that's where my money will go. I love the Camaro, don't get me wrong, but I'm not buying from an automaker that's this close to declaring chapter 11. What about any warranty claims when something breaks? I honestly don't know what'll happen if they go under, something breaks and I need it fixed. If Red Ink Rick is still running GM, if there's even a GM, one year from now, I'll be shocked. My dream of owning a Camaro may be over because of the incompetent boobs running GM into the ground.:no:

And yes, I can live with the 370Z's funky styling if it strikes fear into the hearts of Porsche drivers... :roxor:
 

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sorry no nissans for me...my warranty will be void anyway.;)


hey ferrariman...were you one of the guys spewing all the "gas will be $10 a gallon before the camaro comes out" crap? I think you need to be a little more positive...how do you leave the house in the morning?

Where did all the happy threads go?
 

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hey ferrariman...were you one of the guys spewing all the "gas will be $10 a gallon before the camaro comes out" crap?
No, that wasn't me.

I'd feel a LOT more positive about GM if they didn't burn through cash the way I burn through quarters at an arcade.
 

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well all i can say is we as a people,and DC(Especially DC) and the automakers need to get their acts together and we can get through this
 

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well all i can say is we as a people,and DC(Especially DC) and the automakers need to get their acts together and we can get through this
GM can get through this, but only with management that knows what the hell they're doing.
 

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I just read that GM has pulled out of talks with Chrysler...and supposedly Hyundai has stepped in (as if people need more reasons NOT to buy a dodge).
 

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Pay them a basic salary ($300k?)
Give them a "performance" bonus, up to another $300k
Finally give them stock options up to a maximum of say $500-700k worth of shares - HOWEVER, don't let them exercise these options for at least 3 to 5 years - this will prevent short term gains - hell make it 10 years if you really want to.
 

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Doing my part on the Home Front

:patriot:I am doing my part to help GM, I liquidated my Roth IRA and bought the wife a 2008 Corvette with the 3LT package, ( I get to drive it also) and ordered a 2010 Camaro for me, (2SS, RS package, Black with orange rally stripes and inferno orange accent interior!) If i'm going to the poor house, I'm getting there in GM's finest! Where's the bailout line start?
 
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